Now, I'm all about picking and choosing my battles with the tiny dictator but there are times, many times, where his demands are just plain unreasonable. Pretzels for breakfast? Fine, but eat some pancakes too. You want to drive your monster trucks up and down the baby? That's okay too, just not near his head. I'll even let you wear your Buzz Lightyear costumer to Walmart and/or bed.
But climbing the shelves of the pantry? Dumping the toy basket for the 33rd time after I said no? Removing every single cushion from the couch with your head and pushing it onto the floor for the 27th time because you know that makes mommy hold her breath and count to ten?
3 is going to kill me if 2.5 doesn't first. It is in those moments that I'm sure I'm not cut out to be the mother of a toddler. I think to myself, "surely I am doing something wrong."
Every age has its challenges. I've heard that it gets worse before it gets better. I've heard that it just gets plain worse. Moms have assured me that 3 is no picnic either but something has to give or else I'll be looking up exorcists in the local Yellow pages.
I get it. The toddler is testing his limits, learning to express himself, struggling to come into his own. When he repeatedly asks for the "mopedy" and at the fourth request I hand him juice when he really means "remote" I can see how this might be frustrating.
It's more so the side eye and smirk he casts my way when I tell him not to do something, as he decides he's going to do it anyway. Or when he tells me to "go away now" with the wave of his hand, something we're guilty of saying to the dog all too often apparently, when he wants to do something he knows he's not allowed to do.
There are countless times throughout the day that I want to crumple to a ball on the floor right next to him and just scream and scream and scream until, well, until I decide I'm done screaming but let's face it, that doesn't do anybody any good.
Give him choices. Make it a game. Give him less choices. Be creative in your parenting. Well, hot damn. It's not for lack of trying. Sometimes I just want to take the authors of these books and shake them into remembering what life is really like with a toddler. Unreasonable. Exhausting. It's living with a tiny dictator who throws his dinner on the floor with blatant disregard for your feelings.
While I appreciate each of those approaches to parenting a toddler, sometimes I just don't have time. Other times I don't want to give him two choices of clothing. Of snack. Of activity. I like to think that I'm teaching him that sometimes the world just plain old sucks and you just have to do as your mother says because she said so.
And sometimes I stomp my foot for good measure.
Sometimes I'm just one Google search short of looking up the nearest circus when he climbs into my lap, takes my face in his tiny dictator hands and plants a big wet kiss on my mouth. And it's in those moments that I am absolutely certain...
That 3 is going to kill me if 2.5 doesn't first.